How Does the US Open Tennis Tournament Work?

Jul 20, 2017


Alex Gormley

The 2017 U.S. Open Tennis Championships are a little over a month away. For tennis fanatics, this is equivalent to the World Series or Olympics. But even if you’re not well-versed in this two-week tournament, there’s still time plenty of time to catch up!

The U.S. Open is the last of the four major tennis tournaments played each year. It’s considered part of tennis’ Grand Slam, alongside the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. Major tournaments offer players the most ranking points and prize money and tend to draw the most television and media coverage.

When Did the US Open Tennis Begin?

The U.S. leg of the Grand Slam is one of the oldest and most prestigious tennis championships on the circuit. The tournament was first started in 1881 in Newport, RI, and eventually moved to the New York City area in 1915, and is still held in New York to this day.

Where and When is the US Open?

The 137th edition of the US Open will be held on outdoor hard courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens. It will span two weeks, kicking off on August 28 and running until September 10.

How does the scoring work?

Tennis is scored completely differently from any other major sport you might follow. A tennis match is made up of sets which contain multiple games. Tennis matches are usually best-of three or five sets, and it takes six games to win a set. In order to score a set win, you must lead your opponent by two or more games.

Each game starts out with one player serving, and the first player that wins four points wins, provided they hold a two-point lead over their opponent. A player is awarded a point when their opponent is unable to return the ball in the designated area before the ball bounces twice on their side. The four points in a game all have a corresponding word that differs from the point value. “Love” is zero points won, “15” is 1 point won, “30” is two points won, and “40” is three points won. When you win four points it’s called “game” as it ends the individual game.

Who is competing this year?

Given the prestige and prize money surrounding this summer’s Open, almost every able-bodied and healthy tennis player will be in attendance. One notable player that will be missing is six-time Open Champion Serena Williams, who is expecting a baby soon and will be unable to compete.

Both sides of the bracket should be extremely competitive as we’ve had five different winners in the past five years for the men’s side and three different winners in the last three competitions on the women’s side.

Roger Federer, the five-time U.S. Open Champion who last won this event back in 2008, is the odds on favorite to win at +200 according to Bovada. The 35-year-old from Switzerland is in fantastic form so far in 2017, having won the Australian Open in January and Wimbledon earlier this month. Other serious contenders include 2012 Champion Andy Murray (+400), 2015 Champion Novak Djokovic (+400), 2010 and 2013 Winner Rafael Nadal (+400) and last year’s Champion Stan Wawrinka (+1200).

The current favorite for the women’s Championship is Karolina Pliskova (+600), who finished as the runner-up in this tournament in 2016 to Angelique Kerber (+700). This year’s Wimbledon Champion Garbine Muguruza is another obvious contender and she’s currently at +700 alongside 2006 U.S. Open Champion Maria Sharapova.

Interested in attending this year’s US Open Tennis Tournament? Click here to browse tickets on SeatGeek.

(Image courtesy Dysanovic via Flickr.)